Celebrating Sojourner

In honor of the approaching Sojourner Truth Legacy Plaza celebration and unveiling, on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 4:30pm, First Congregational Church of Akron will host a multimedia performance of Celebrating Sojourner, that promises to inspire and uplift. This event is free and open to the public and all ages are encouraged to attend.

Celebrating Sojourner is a stirring experience that will reflect on Sojourner Truth’s legacy and inspiration, with links to artistic performances and interpretations by African American performers and professionals of all ages. At Celebrating Sojourner, you will witness a profound rendition of Sojourner Truth’s historic speech, performed by Jasmine Davis, Little Miss Black Midwest Junior, an inspiring presentation by published author and keynote speaker, Denise Jenkins-Agurs, performances by vocalist Tamekia Nash-Walls and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Academy student choir, and more. A reception with light refreshments and a meet-and-greet with performers will follow the conclusion of the event.

Learn more about our performers:

Jasmine Davis – is currently a 5th Grader at Columbus School for Girls. She is the current State Champion for the MLK Oratorical Contest, and one of the City of Columbus’ 20 under 20. Davis is Little Miss Black Midwest Junior, and the 2022 winner of the Gahanna Ohio Junior Herb Queen. She dances with Theater Street Dance Academy with Dance Theater of Harlem’s Board Member and Columbus native China White. Davis will be performing violin with Urban Strings orchestra in Chicago this June.

Denise Jenkins-Agurs – is a native of Columbus, Ohio. She is passionate about encouraging people from all walks of life to be the very best they can be. She enjoys helping people discover their true gifts and talents to achieve real and lasting success — personal and professional fulfillment.

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Jenkins-Agurs has successfully designed and coordinated support programs for mental illness, substance abuse, violence prevention, diversity, equity and inclusion, teammate engagement, workforce planning, and career development. She facilitated career development seminars and academic advising to unemployed/under-employed adults and coordinated educational and career development programs for major corporations. She has worked closely with companies, churches, colleges, and professional organizations to develop programs, presentations, and Lunch-n-Learn education for the busy professionals. She was the WTS of Indianapolis 2022 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award recipient. She reached her major accomplishment when she published her first book, Get Me Out of This Job. The book was birthed from her experience moving through her career journey to the C-Suite and the challenges she overcame while fulfilling her purpose.

When Denise is not at work, she is a mentor, career coach, professional speaker, author, and a philanthropist. She has a passion for motivating and encouraging people from all walks of life to think big and believe in the impossible. For the last 25 plus years, she’s hosted a women’s support group called the Sister Circle Network, Inc. Denise has a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Counseling from the University of Dayton, a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and an Advance Career Coach Certification.

Tamekia Nash-Walls DNP, BSN, PMHNP-BC R.N.- started her healthcare career as St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI serving as a care giver on the behavioral services unit. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Eastern Michigan University. While pursuing her doctorate degree at the University of Michigan-Flint in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, where her major was Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, she worked with University of Michigan-Flint educators to create a training on cultural competence in nursing.

After completing her doctorate in April 2023, Tamekia now works with various community and religious organizations in increasing mental health awareness and reducing associated stigmas. Tamekia also provides nursing education as a part-time lecturer for Eastern Michigan University, teaching mental health and fundamentals of professional nursing for all levels.
Tamekia currently serves as the Director of Nursing for Hegira Health Inc. where she oversees nursing services, and education for the organization. She also serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at Hegira Health Inc.
Tamekia is a current member of the Education Committee for the American Nurses Association for the State of Michigan. She serves on the Executive Board of the African Heritage Network of the Free Methodist Church, USA, and is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Washtenaw Community College the nursing program.
Tamekia, a professional vocalist, has been leading worship for over fifteen years. She has assisted several churches in teaching, training, and leading in this area of ministry. Tamekia has been favored with opportunities to record professionally for worship conferences and several renowned Gospel Artists. Tamekia oversees the worship ministry at New Beginnings Community Free Methodist church in Ann Arbor, MI.

Asia Sharpe-Berry – is a local actor and music teacher at Franklin D. Roosevelt Academy in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She has worked throughout Cleveland Theater on-stage and backstage, recently working as an Actor-Teacher at Great Lakes Theater, as well as working with various education centers across Northeast Ohio in theater education. Asia has had the
opportunity to work in the Talepinner Children’s Theater’s education department, as well as Main stage productions. She’s also worked with Cleveland Public Theater in their production of, ‘Panther Women.’ Asia has performed in the Reverb Theater Arts Festival, located at the Roundabout Theater company in New York. When she is not on stage, she can be found directing at Fuchs Mizrachi School. Asia also enjoys costuming and working wardrobe for various theaters, when given the opportunity. Franklin D. Roosevelt Academy, led by Principal Sherie Turner, is committed to partnering with families and the community to empower all students to reach their full potential in a safe, supportive, and rigorous environment that emphasizes academic achievement through inquiry-based learning, social responsibility, and emotional resilience. They focus on developing P.R.I.D.E. in their staff and students – Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence!